Cape Town - Free
State Stars found an additional gear in extra-time as they scored
thrice to beat Bidvest Wits 3-1 in a Telkom Knockout last 16 encounter
at Goble Park on Saturday.
The first half belonged to the visitors, but they could not turn
their superiority into goals. A rather dull second half saw a succession
of chances for Wits in the final minutes of regulation time. Stars came
out firing into extra time and scored three times before the visitors
pulled one back at the death.
On the balance of play and chances created, Bidvest Wits should have
been at least a goal to the good after they dominated the first half.
Stars however had the first real opportunity on goal, on 18 minutes,
but Sthembiso Dlamini’s first time shot from 18-yards was steered just
wide of the target.
Play quickly switched the other end of the park where the ball fell
to Gabadinho Mhango just outside the box, but his volley skimmed just
More chances followed for the Johannesburg team, but Elias Pelembe
was unfortunate to see his 33rd minute shot smacking the crossbar after
he had cut in from the right flank.
The woodwork was to deny the Clever Boys again 12 minutes later when
Mhango scooped the ball over the Stars defence before heading into the
After a flurry of early second half action, that failed to bring any
clear-cut chances, the game slowed down somewhat as neither team were
able to find much cohesion going forward.
An opportunity finally arrived in the 72nd minute when a well-worked
move by Wits saw Sifiso Hlanti in on goal, but he was unable to beat
Thela Ngobeni with his drive towards the far post.
As the game moved into the final 10 minutes of regulation time, the
goalmouth action heated up as Daine Klate volleyed over the bar before
Moeketsi Sekola skewed a shot wide and then Ben Motshwari came within
inches of winning the game in the 93rd minute.
Stars came out an invigorated side in extra time and it took them
just two minutes to find the net, the impressive Nyiko Mobbie putting in
a perfect ball from the right flank which ended in Sekola burying a
header into the top corner.
The 19-year-old Mobbie was again to play a key role in the home
side's second goal – just two minutes later, when he found Sekola at the
back post, the striker laying the ball into Dlamini’s pass for a
relatively simple finish.
More chances followed for Stars but Danny Venter and Thokozani Sekotlong squandered good opportunities.
But Venter made amends when he put the game to bed 10 minutes from
time after bursting into the box and finishing smartly into the far.
Klate's brilliant right-footed drive from 25-yards out two minutes from time proved to be no more than consolation.